Category Archives: News

Things I could do in addition to museums, general exploration, the conference, and work

Starting tomorrow at 4 (I missed one today, Monday), these films.

6 October, Friday, 18:00, Casa de Cultura de Morelia. Trabajos (artísticos) gastronómicos. Art opening.

I am abroad trying to work and this has different challenges than does trying to work at home. I am facing some demons, one of which was finding out what day I present at this conference. It is 6 October, Friday, and I am relieved as this gives me some time. I feel so much more inspired and calm in Mexico, generally speaking, but it is difficult now because I am giving classes virtually at my institution, and feel the weight of it.

Axé.

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Los pasos perdidos

I really need to start cracking on work but it turns out that there is a major celebration here in Morelia, Michoacán. And I suppose the beginning of all voyages to Latin America are like the second chapter of Los pasos perdidos: first you arrive to a country that is clearly 3d world and mysterious, no matter how familiar. Then you sleep, and then…

This morning I woke up feeling the mountain air and looking at the stone streets that have been here since the 16th century I felt I was in Old Castile about 50 years ago–where I was then, in fact. Then I saw soldiers and armed police and realized many streets were blocked off, and discovered it was for a parade celebrating the 252d birthday of the prócer José Ma. Morelos. After much circuitous walking, and fortunate purchase of newspapers, I secured a place in a café with a view of the parade, and saw it, composed of regiments from every ideological state apparatus, excepting the Church but including schools and universities, all dignitaries and many, many military. The countryside is at war, as we know, and the military were applauded.

I walked and saw very many other things but the most interesting was a man with people getting their pictures taken next to him. Someone standing next to me asked who it was and I said I did not know, but a third person explained that it was an important figure in the autodefensas of Michoacán (although he did not really look like or have the aspecto of Hipólito Mora, a famous leader in this).

There is a great deal else to recount but even sufficient contextualization of what I have noted down here would take a lot of writing. I visted Morelos’ birdthplace which was a casa de salud in his time (born 1765), and learned that Morelia’s streets were paved during the presidency of Miguel Alemán.

Axé.

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Not of general interest

So: for that ALFS article, for which I have so much material and so much writing, but not a clear enough shape, I have these thoughts:

1. We have this situation:

Les valeurs d’émancipation et d’égalité n’animent plus le système universitaire, qui est devenu un système de tri de la population. Durant mon enfance, l’éducation était émancipatrice. Il y avait un bon niveau de tolérance à la déviance. Il y avait des profs d’histoire ou de philo communistes, anarchistes… Aujourd’hui, un impératif de perfection et donc de conformisme s’est mis en place. La fonction objective du système est de trier les gens et de retenir ceux qui sont les plus disciplinés et conformes. Au bout du bout, les gens qui finissent à la tête du pays sont incapables d’avoir une idée – je vous laisse imaginer à qui je pense.

But since liberal values are still invoked and a lexicon alluding to them is still used, the situation is hard to see. At the same time (and coming from the other direction), most people now were born to a university system where these values had already been abridged and the neo-liberal or corporate, or even the entrepreneurial university had already begun to take shape.

2. Can I afford to go to ACLA and if I try, should I present on Vallejo…or what? I have NOT written my Vallejo panelists as I had planned to do, or Emmanuel on a modernism / primitivism panel, and I should keep these ideas in mind.

3. My notes after ACLA in Utrecht: “Keep working on this paper. Keep working in general, you deserve it.” It is very hard for me to remember such things when I am here at Vichy State-Maringouin, but I am getting a bit better at it.

(Now I will go to the library, and then I will continue to think about the ACLA question.)

Axé.

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La felicidad

I was about to say this was my happiest teaching day ever, but really it is only one of my happiest teaching days, as there were periods with certain circumstances that made most days happy although it seemed normal then and did not stand out.

I would like to say the reason is my general disposition this semester, in which I refuse to tolerate the mistreatment faculty in other languages normally dish out to faculty in Spanish, and that we have traditionally swallowed because the threat was that things would get yet worse unless we kept quiet. However, I think the actual reason is that my language class–always the first class–is actually a really good class. Normally they are not and for various complex reasons this puts a serious damper on the day.

Also, I am in the salad for breakfast movement but today had a vegetable omelet. I did make salad for lunch and it was the first time I managed to make and transport a salad that did not wilt and was terribly tasty. It had butter lettuce, chopped tomato, minced red onion, black olives, and swordfish baked in olive oil and soy sauce, and then chilled. Dressing was olive oil, lime juice and salt mixed with hemp powder that I bought at a Saturday market in Jurmala, near Riga.

Axé.

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Arc of the year

The question for the last throw was “Where is home?” This throw is on the shape of the coming academic year, after the eclipse and a change in governance. It merits thought.

Heart of the matter/the present: 3 of Swords
Challenge/obstacle: Son of Swords (Knight)
Root of the question: The Star (XVII); The Star in Wild Unknown Tarot
Past: 7 of Cups
Goals/aspirations: Temperance (XIV); Temperance in Wild Unknown Tarot
Future: The Devil (XV); The Devil in Wild Unknown Tarot
Self: 9 of Cups
Context/outside world: Judgement or Aeon (XX); Judgement in Wild Unknown Tarot
Hopes and fears: 9 of Pentacles
Outcome: Wheel of Fortune (X); Wheel of Fortune in Wild Unknown Tarot

I have given the spread as my reader uses it. Not all the positions are identical to these. But I, or we are reading with the Wild Unknown Tarot and also with Paul Hughes-Barlow, because he uses several decks offers a good composite of the more traditional interpretations.

Axé.

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Eclipse

Astrology for the eclipse.

Statistics on study abroad.

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Le swimsuit

I still need to get the car adjusted, but I also need swimsuits. I think of my swimsuits as new, but they are falling apart. Again. It seems that this is all so recent, I bought new ones in 2009 and again in 2013. There are so many things one must keep track of nowadays. The dust on the closet floors and under the beds, and the strange chemicals I have learned to use against the damp.

I feel peaceful. It is not a normal feeling anymore. It has to do with not trying to rush at work, or work beyond fatigue, or work with people who will not. I can do this because I have decided I am a professor.

Axé.

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